Today camera retailer Ezviz announced that it’s adding a new model to its lineup — the $70 Ezviz Mini, a 720p live-streaming Wi-Fi camera with night vision, motion detection capabilities, local and cloud storage, web and mobile (Android and iOS) apps and alerts with an included scheduling feature. The Ezviz Mini is available for purchase now in the US through Amazon and Sam’s Club.
$200 is the norm when it comes to buying do-it-yourself high-definition security and webcams these days. One quick tour of our own camera coverage shows that Nest Cam (and its Dropcam Pro predecessor), Flir FX, Logi Circle, Netatmo Welcome and Piper (the original model, not the night-vision-equipped version), all cost 200 bucks. And others, like the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro, ArcSoft Simplicam, Homeboy, Netgear Arlo (the two-camera kit we reviewed costs over $300, but you can buy one camera and the hub for just $180) and new Kodak Video Monitor CFH-V20 are all within $50 of that now-standard retail figure.
Sure, when you’re comparing DIY and professional firm camera setups, the DIY route is likely to cost less overall, but there haven’t been many cameras that are a true bargain. The $100 Guardzilla is reasonably-priced, but it has a standard-definition resolution and underwhelming performance — and that’s it as far as models we’ve reviewed that cost significantly less than $200.
That makes the $70 Ezviz Mini especially intriguing. For almost a third of the price of many DIY Wi-Fi cams today, the full-featured Mini seems to offer a ton of value. I’ve spent some time with this camera already and my early impressions are mostly positive.
To begin, it’s tiny (hence the name “Mini”) — it clocks in at under 4 ounces and stands at just 3.5 inches tall — so it’s about as good as it gets as far as an unobtrusive design. And it has a magnetic base (like Arlo, Nest Cam and others) and the stand pivots and angles for easy installation.
Setup took about 5-10 minutes. To register, enter your country, email address and verification code (This should appear in the inbox of the address you provide. I found this somewhat confusing, though, because there’s a verification code on a sticker on the back of the camera. Ignore it and use the one you receive in your email instead), create a username and a password, scan the QR code on the back of the camera and input your Wi-Fi details as well as your time zone and you’re done. It’s a few more steps than most Wi-Fi camera configurations, but it isn’t too inconvenient.
While setup was pretty straightforward, the app looks dated. It’s still easy enough to navigate, but there’s something generally unpolished about it that reminds me of the old-school-style Foscam Plug and Play Wireless IP Camera FI9826P. Even so, I was able to view the live stream, receive motion-related alerts and scroll through the activity log to see saved clips.
The Ezviz Mini comes with a 16GB microSD card for local storage and currently offers users one full year of free cloud storage. If you still want cloud storage after that period, you’ll have to pay $5 per month/$50 per year for 7 days of storage or $10 per month/$100 per year for 30 days of storage.
I’ll continue to test the Mini and will be back soon with a full review of this surprising $70 live-streaming HD security camera. Stay tuned.